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Pence blasts Harris's 'non-answer' on packing Supreme Court

Pence blasts Harris's 'non-answer' on packing Supreme Court
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Vice President Pence at Wednesday’s vice presidential debate blasted Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden officially clinches Electoral College votes with California certification Hillicon Valley: Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security | Biden says China must play by 'international norms' | House Democrats use Markup app for leadership contest voting Trump campaigns as wild card in Georgia runoffs MORE (D-Calif.) for refusing to say whether she would support expanding the Supreme Court in order to allow a Democratic president to nominate more liberal justices to the bench.

Harris and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Federal student loan payment suspension extended another month Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week MORE have avoided directly answering the question since it began gaining prominence last month following the death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgSupreme Court sees new requests for religious COVID-19 carve-outs Cuomo likens COVID-19 to the Grinch: 'The season of viral transmission' For Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court upholds religious liberty MORE and President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE’s rapid nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill Ginsburg’s seat.

Harris on Wednesday responded to Pence’s repeated prompts about her position on court packing by shifting attention to Senate Republicans’ efforts to fast-track Barrett’s confirmation despite 2020 being an election year, a reversal of Republicans’ rationale for blocking former President Obama’s nominee late in his second term.

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“Once again you gave a non-answer, Joe Biden gave a non-answer,” Pence replied. “The American people deserve a straight answer. And if you haven't figured it out yet, the straight answer is they are going to pack the Supreme Court if they somehow win this election.”

Wednesday’s debate featured numerous instances where the candidates declined to respond directly to questions posed by moderator Susan Page of USA Today. 

Moments earlier, Pence dodged a question on whether he would support a total ban of abortions at the state level if the rightward-shifting Supreme Court were to overturn the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion nationwide.

Harris’s side-stepping of the court packing question comes after Biden refused to give a definitive answer on his position during last week's presidential debate. 

“Whatever position I take in that, that'll become the issue,” Biden told debate moderator Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBiden adviser: 'He does not have any concern' about Trump lawsuits Public health expert: Americans no longer acting 'with common purpose' on pandemic Anti-Defamation League criticizes White House appointee 'who has consorted with racists' MORE of Fox News. “The issue is the American people should speak. You’re voting now. Vote, and let your senators know how you feel.”

To pack the court, Democrats would need to retake the White House and Senate and likely abolish the filibuster in order to pass legislation to add seats to the Supreme Court.